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Discover a profession: the occupational therapist

The occupational therapist: a profession that is often misunderstood, or whose missions are misunderstood! But there are numerous people who have or will have to make an appointment with a specialist in occupational therapy. The objective of this assistance to people is to offer a long-term care service, in order to rehabilitate the most fragile in their daily life. But what exactly is this profession? Who can benefit from it? Why and above all how to make an appointment with an occupational therapist? Read on to get the answers to these questions !

occupational therapist
An autistic boy taking classes with an occupational therapist.

What is an occupational therapist?

Occupational therapists are health professionals who have obtained a state diploma after three years of study in a specialized training institution. It is one of the paramedical professions that takes part in the process of rehabilitation and integration to help people with disabilities (motor or psychological disabilities, etc.), or with a loss of autonomy (aging population, Alzheimer’s disease, etc.).

Occupational therapists are trained in occupational therapy in order to provide technical aids to improve the daily life of patients with pathologies that reduce their physical and cognitive abilities. It allows the patients to continue living at home.

Their training in occupational therapy gives them the possibility to offer a better autonomy to the patient. Their professional experience allows them to advise patients on the adaptation of their living space, to improve their fine motor skills, and to allow them to adapt daily activities in a safe manner (cleaning, shopping, tidying up…).

Occupational therapists can work in both private practices and hospitals:

  • in rehabilitation centers;
  • in private or public hospitals (neurology, rheumatology, etc.);
  • in aftercare centers;
  • in occupational health;
  • in institutions for the elderly.

Occupational therapy only takes place when prescribed by a doctor and provides patients with solutions for their daily life as well as for their professional and educational needs.

Who can consult an occupational therapist?

The occupational therapist provides consultations to people of all ages:

  • children;
  • adolescents;
  • able-bodied adults in need of rehabilitation;
  • adults with disabilities;
  • elderly people.

Specializing in pediatrics, Dr. Stephanie Zwillinger and her multidisciplinary COP9 team collaborate with many paramedical professionals, such as the occupational therapist, to provide comprehensive care for children.

We have mentioned how we treat psychomotor disorders in this article, and we would like to point out that children with learning disabilities can consult an occupational therapist.

The occupational therapist is involved in all situations of disability. Whether you have a motor, visual, auditory, psychological, neurological, rheumatological or traumatological disability… this paramedical professional can be consulted at any time to help you reappropriate your movements and your daily life.

As an expert in the learning of adaptive daily living skills, the occupational therapist can only be consulted with a medical prescription. Our ophthalmologist, Dr. Zwillinger, will be able to answer your questions on this subject during your vision examination appointment.

What are the reasons for consulting an occupational therapist?

There are many reasons for consulting an occupational therapist at any time in life. When a health problem will limit the quality of life of the patient in terms of :

  • hygiene care ;
  • recreational activities ;
  • mobility ;
  • communication ;
  • work.

Occupational therapy rehabilitation sessions can be one of the paramedical levers to activate to improve daily life. Using rehabilitation techniques, the occupational therapist will help you and accompany you to improve gestures that may seem problematic.

For example, following an injury, you could be in rehabilitation in a day hospital and be required to consult an occupational therapist as well as a physiotherapist as part of your treatment. You can also, as a preventive measure in old age, make an appointment for therapeutic education in occupational therapy.

How to make an appointment with an occupational therapist?

Aging, or visual disability, may be the reason for making an appointment with an occupational therapist. It is also possible that, during a routine eye exam, Dr. Stephanie Zwillinger diagnoses an ocular pathology requiring functional rehabilitation.

Our ophthalmologist will be able to refer you to her COP9 multidisciplinary team of orthoptists, but also prescribe occupational therapy sessions in a rehabilitation center or in a private practice.

Our COP9 team is at your disposition and ready to listen to you and refer you to an occupational therapist. Do not hesitate to talk to your specialist during your appointment at our practice to create your personalized therapeutic program.

After reading this article, you will be more familiar with the occupational therapy profession, but also with the reasons to consult this medical-social specialty. To learn more, or follow COP9 news, feel free to follow us on Instagram or Facebook

Have you ever consulted an occupational therapist? Feel free to share your experience with the website users in the comments below!

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